1.10.2017

VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS (AND WRITERS)

It almost feels surreal.  I look out my window and see the wooded backdrop beyond my back yard.  The snow frosted trees stretch to the sky above the snow blanketed ground.  It takes my breath away and I blink to make sure this is not a dream. When I open my eyes, it is all still here, making me smile and thankful. 


Just 3  months ago, I was one with long commutes to work, freeway traffic, xeriscaping, water shortages, hot days and nights. In California.  A place I had lived for just about all of my life. A place I'd grown to hate.  My heart yearned for green, for trees, for seasons, and yes, for cold weather. Anyone following my blog knows that my eyes have been on Tennessee for a long time.  And that hasn't changed. 


Last summer, my husband was offered employment in Virginia....and here we are!  In a little more than a month's time, we notified our family and friends, packed up our four bedroom home, flew to Virginia and bought a house and watched a gigantic moving truck pull away with all of our belongings.


We followed two days later, with our RAM loaded with some things we planned to bring out ourselves, our pup, Gemma and all of the excitement of a cross country drive to a new home.


We made it in  6 days.  Gallup, NM to Oklahoma City,OK to Kearney, MO to Lexington, KY and finally Fredericksburg, VA.  Several nights in hotels, a stop to visit and stay with a best friend and a stay with cousins and family before our final stop. 


It was Fall, the glorious color of changing leaves--the weather was still warm and then began to change to crisp chilly mornings and evenings and rain, oh beautiful rain!   I watched every day the leaves slowly falling into our yard...leaving the trees bare and stark against the sky.  The view from our back deck changes daily--I feel so blessed to enjoy the seasonal changes.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and now our first snow! 


I am soaking it all in.  It nurtures my soul.  I love living outside of "town". I love the country roads and my friends I've made here. I love our new church and how welcomed we are.   I love how I feel here.  Alive and energized.  I can feel my creativity again.  I can hear my muse coming out of her long hibernation.


I can feel something good in my writing journey has begun.

5.15.2016

KEEPING IT REAL-- A MOTHER'S DAY

It was Mother's Day 1992. I was 36 years old and the mama of four young children ages 13, 11, 4 and 3.


I was wrapping up the day after hosting a house full of family.  This day had been loud and fun and messy.  Adults chatting and children laughing chasing up and down the hall--doors opening, doors slamming, messes to mop up in the kitchen, drinks to refill, snacks to replenish.


A typical Mother's Day with a growing family.


In a quiet moment, I realized the youngest, my three year old son Taylor, was not in the family room playing in the pile of Legos, Tinkertoys and Hot Wheel cars and he wasn't with his brother or sisters. 


Where was he? When had anyone last seen him?


After a quick search of the house, and realizing our golden retriever, Sophie, was also MIA, we concluded that Taylor had gone outside with her and the two of them were probably traipsing around our rural property on their own adventure.  I remember searching over the two acres of white-rail fenced land and yelling for both of them.  Panic and fear grew stronger with every call out to them and getting in return, silence.  No little boy laughter, no barking dog.


My heart pounded hard as I jumped into my green van and drove slowly down the long narrow quarter-mile asphalt drive, peering over the steering wheel, the pair of empty car seats behind me in the back seat, my eyes scanning left and right across the neighbors' yards for any sign of Taylor or Sophie.


I prayed hard.  Tears threatened to spill, but I blinked them back and exhaled a sigh of relief that he'd not fallen in my neighbor's pool as I drove past.  He was three.  He couldn't swim.  He was my baby. My brain cycled through scenarios.  All of our neighbors knew him.  Surely he'd be spotted.  Had someone taken him?  He was my b-a-b-y.  My mind could go no further into that darkness.


I wanted to drive faster, but I needed to go as slow as I could, to keep an eye out across the acreage of each property for any sign of either of them. 


Five minutes felt like hours, as I rounded the final turn and followed the avocado grove lined section leading down to the dirt road where several driveways converged. 


I leaned to look through the rows of trees to my left and glimpsed the top of Sophie's wagging tail as she romped through the heavy cover of fallen leaves.  I slammed on the brakes, put the car in park and jumped out.  I could see Taylor behind her, laughing and running, not a care in the world.


"Sophie"  I called out and she bounded toward me.  I slid the van's side panel door open and she jumped inside.


Taylor was still running behind her, now toward me, smiling from ear to ear with joy, then tripped and fell face first in the leaves.  He got back up, but now he was crying.


"You're fine.  Brush off and come on and get in the van"  I called to him, relieved I'd found him safe but now aggravated he'd scared everyone by leaving the property. 


He wiped both hands off on his shirt, still crying hard.  Suddenly, I saw blood soaked the front of his shirt.  I ran to him and yanked his shirt up.  Nothing. His little belly didn't have a mark on it.  I grabbed both of his little hands at the same time and turned them palms side up...one revealed an ugly jagged gash across it. He'd fallen on a broken piece of metal sprinkler line in the grove and was bleeding--a lot.


My heart began pounding hard again. I scooped him up and grabbed a towel from the back seat and wrapped it around his hand and told him to hold it there, buckled him into his car seat and drove him back to the house.


Once his hand had been cleaned up, I immediately knew we were spending the rest of Mother's Day in the Emergency Room.  So after securing the dog and  leaving our 13 year old in charge of her siblings, instructing them to sit tight and watch a movie, we headed to the local hospital.


During our predictably long wait, Taylor kept uncovering and inspecting his wound, then would thrust his palm in my face (and anyone else's face nearby) saying, "See my boo-boo?"  Not everyone was as impressed with it as he was (considering the 'ick' factor), and I had to keep reminding him to leave the bandage on until the doctor could look at it. 


That night after we got back home and all the kiddos were tucked in, I crawled into my own bed, tired and relieved that my day had ended with a much better outcome than I'd feared earlier. 


It was the close of my Mother's Day and my sweet youngest son's adventure made it a day I would always look back on with a thankful heart. 

11.10.2015

BULLETPROOF RESULTS

Oh my.  It has been 6 months and I realized I have not updated my blog in all that time! Where did the time go and what is up with that Bulletproof protocol?

Well here you go....the good news is that I have had amazing results on Bulletproof!  I have been eating strictly Bulletproof, and focusing eating per the protocol, a lot less carbs, while fluctuating carb re-feeds.  I am 5 sizes smaller.  (I stopped using the bathroom scales).  I have simply adapted this mode of eating and the weight and fat has melted off.  I can honestly say this has been EASY.   

Before I began this protocol, I was certain that I could not abstain from many of the foods that were not Bulletproof, especially bread and pasta.  But I did and I am here to tell  you that I don't miss or crave either one.  At all.

I'm still on track and I have another 3.5 sizes I would like to lose, so I am going to continue on the same path and then adjust things to maintain my success. More recently,  I have indulged in a few "forbidden foods": french fries/potatoes, cheese, alcohol and frozen yogurt, without negative repercussions. These occasions are rare. I eat Bulletproof 90% of the time.

I feel like this is an effortless way of eating.  I no longer have to think about what I am going to eat/should eat and it feels like an organic transfer for me. This is the first time in my adult life that I can say I have been able to eat good food and lose weight. I have not felt deprived, hungry or had to work out hours a week in order to attain my weight loss.  

I have more updates to make to add, but I will save them for another post.

5.28.2015

BULLETPROOF FROM THE INSIDE OUT



I started on the Bulletproof Diet on May 4, 2015.  I prefer to call it the Bulletproof Protocol, since “diet” implies short-term, and I intend to continue with this long after my fat loss is complete.


This is my Bulletproof journey.


For over a year I have felt myself spiraling into apathy about my weight, my age and it became so bad that it began to bleed into my lifelong dreams.  I had zero energy, slept horrible almost every single night.  The nights I did sleep soundly were so rare, that they were a cause for celebration. I felt OLD.  I'd lost my desire to do anything other than just sit on my tush.  I hated the way I looked and more than that, the way I felt.


I was exhausted, negative, short-tempered and angry.  All the time.  What had happened to me?  Where did the happy, positive, upbeat girl go?   I wanted her back.  I missed the way I used to be, the way I used to enjoy my life.


I knew I needed to get “back on track” with healthy eating and working out, but I had absolutely NO motivation.  None.


By chance, at our son’s house, on Easter Sunday, his friend Nick was talking about his Bulletproof coffee and I was intrigued.  I listened closely, asked questions, and then I began reading everything I could on this Bulletproof Diet and Coffee idea.  I was game.


I will admit that I was hesitant to give up all of the foods that were listed as “suspect” and “toxic” but I also feared that those foods were a bigger part of my problem than just 60 extra pounds and I was determined to go all in and give it 100%.


Good-bye breads, wheat, grains, legumes, cheese, dairy (except grass-fed butter), most fruits, and SUGAR.


Hello, grass fed meats, low-carb veggies, berries and my future good health!


The first week of detoxing off of everything I had been fueling my body with, all at once, was not pleasant.  I felt unwell and woke with a headache each morning* and it returned every afternoon at around 3pm.  On the fifth day, I literally felt “homicidal”  I wanted to tear heads off and scream at the top of my lungs.  I pushed through the day (without harming anyone) and woke on the sixth day feeling AMAZING!
*waking with a headache is something I suffered from for years, so that part was not anything new. 


The change in the way I felt was miraculous.  I had mental clarity and focus,  lots of energy and was back to feeling positive.  The intense anger that previously consumed me, had vanished.  I was excited about making plans and following my dreams.  My creativity kicked back in and I really did begin to feel invincible.


I am a believer in the Bulletproof  lifestyle.


After a month on the protocol and being so ecstatic at how much BETTER I FEEL,  I can also report that I am nearly two pants sizes smaller (I am using my clothing size as my success gauge over the scale, since the scale does not give an accurate picture of what is truly going on with fat loss and inches). Every week, my clothes fit better, looser and I can get into clothes that were impossible to wear before.  I took measurements a week ago and will be keeping a log of the inches lost every month too.  I should have done that on day 1 but didn’t.


I am incorporating HIIT workouts a few times a week (20 minutes), but no more endless hours on the treadmill, just short high intensity workouts and done.   In between, those, I can enjoy some "active rest" activities: walks/hikes, bike rides and maybe get the golf clubs back out!


For me the biggest part of the success of being Bulletproof is how I feel. Getting the extra weight and fat off is a bonus!  I am back into my creative zone and I feel like my brain has been awakened from a stupor.  I am excited to get back into my daily writing and tap into my new found creativity.

2.07.2015

REFLECTION IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

Last year was hard.

The trials of 2014 left me feeling stale. Without inspiration.

I dreamed of feeling inspired again. I dreamed and prayed for the passion for my dreams I had before, to return to me. I relied on whatever fraction of energy I could scrape up, to get through each day and survive the frustration, confusion, sadness, anger and depression that those days contained.

Sometimes those emotions beat me down and consumed me. Some days they made me feel ugly. I despised the conflict that brewed inside of me, but I kept it there, rather than spewing it out. All of those emotions bubbled up and often came out of me as tears rolling down my face. No words, just tears.

It takes a lot to put on a happy face, and push through the day. I did it day after day. Some days were harder than others, but at the end of each hard day, I knew I could do it one more day. And I did it all. With God.

I know that it was God who held me up above all of what was pulling me down. He was beside me, with me, holding me safely in the palm of his hand. In the dark stillness of the night when sleep eluded me, it was God who was there in the quiet. In the turmoil of my days, it was God who offered calm in those moments.

Through the trials and hurdles of last year, I became stronger. It as if I am coming up from under the water, breathing air again. Fresh, crisp clean air. Thank you God.

2015 will be a year of change and the return of inspiration.